The Club is dismayed to hear of the court decision to ban the breeding of Cavaliers in Norway. This does not reflect the efforts and progress made by many dedicated to the breed all over the world and could in fact worsen the ongoing issues of irresponsible breeding and illegal puppy smuggling. This announcement potentially inspires underground breeders to thrive without scrutiny. The Club will always support all who breed with a paramount interest in the health and welfare of the dog and encourage the use of important health screening available for the breed. As joint custodians the Club will continue to work tirelessly with all interested groups to protect the breed and its wellbeing, through education and influence to breeders and puppy buyers.

We are closely monitoring the situation and will advise members accordingly.

UK Kennel Club statement on breeding ban in Norway

The Kennel Club is concerned about the court ruling which bans the breeding of Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Norway. The Kennel Club feels this is not a solution to prevent poor breeding practices or any of the complex health issues some of these dogs within the breeds can face. This absolute approach, which will be difficult to enforce, could further fuel the ongoing crisis of irresponsible breeders, illegal puppy smuggling and uninformed puppy buyers, and actually worsen the issues that the legislation seeks to address.

Whilst we have not yet seen the full judgement, we know that outright breed bans do not work — we have seen this in the UK where attempts were made in 1991 with the Dangerous Dogs Act. This has simply served to drive the breeding of these dogs underground, leading to large numbers of unregistered animals, where it is impossible to reach the breeders or buyers of these dogs or have any impact on the breed’s health and welfare. It also can further fuel the health and welfare crisis of illegally bred and imported dogs. In the UK, we are seeing disreputable puppy traders producing unregistered dogs — bred under no sphere of influence — with extreme features, under the radar, which is having a universally agreed and extremely negative impact on dog health and welfare.

The Kennel Club believes a more effective approach is to continue to work collaboratively with breeders, vets, scientists and welfare organisations to research, understand and take evidence-based actions — via tools like the Respiratory Function Grading Scheme for Bulldogs — to reduce and ultimately eliminate the health problems that these breeds can face, and to educate and influence uninformed puppy buyers and breeders.
10 February 2022

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